Skip to main content

Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

See other formats


command. In spite of the intervention of Pope Honorius III on
the side of the students, the quarrel went on for several years.
Finally, the city, though keeping the offensive law on its statute
book, ceased to interfere with the students in this way, and sought
to retain them by conciliation rather than by coercion.

The victory of the students in their dealings with their teachers
was still more complete. In the Twelfth Century academic
matters were under the control of the doctors' gild. But by a
ruthless boycotting of recalcitrant doctors and of the students
who attended their lectures, the student " universities " brought
their teachers into entire subjection. They were forced to swear
to obey the rectors and to regulate their classes according to the
instructions of the students' officers. They could not be absent
without leave even for a single day. They must begin and end
their lectures punctually. They had to arrange their courses so
as to cover the ground at a proper rate without evading difficulties
or omitting anything. Any infringement of the regulations was
punished by a fine proportionate to the offence; and persistent
contumacy ended in expulsion from the gild to which they were
compelled to belong, but in whose affairs they were allowed no

In the long run the very strength of the " universities " proved
their undoing. In the second half of the Thirteenth Century the
city began to pay the salaries of the doctors in order to propitiate
the students and keep up the reputation of the university ; and
by this arrangement it gained a certain responsibility for the
appointment and supervision of the teachers through a board of
reformatores studiL With the reaction against the tyranny of
gilds in general, this board became the real controlling power in
university affairs, and the student " universities " lost all but a
fraction of their former strength. With some modifications they
continued to exercise their diminished authority, till they were
finally swept away in the great European revolution at the end of
the Eighteenth Century.

The development of the university of Paris took place under
quite different conditions from that of Bologna. The opposition
between students and teachers was never of the least consequence,
since the students in the faculty of arts, which was much the
largest faculty, were too young and too poor to assert themselves
as the law students of Bologna had done. Even the opposition